The music industry has minted some new arena and stadium stars lately, but one look at the top-grossing tours of 2012 and you might think we’re in a time warp.
Though her album sales are not on par with her 1980s heyday, Madonna can clearly still put glittery butts in seats. According to Pollstar, she easily topped the list of the year’s highest-grossing tours with $296.1 million, besting another Reagan-era rival, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, whose tour raked in $210.2 million. Former Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters had a very good year as well, pulling in $186.4 million on a list of the top 50 worldwide tours whose combined gross was $3 billion.
Both Madonna and Springsteen sole more than 2.1 million tickets each, averaging more than 31,000 fans per night. But, of course, Madonna also managed to make headlines on an almost nightly basis thanks to the usual flesh-baring and cage-rattling antics, which ranged from her musical tweaking of Lady Gaga, to the waving of fake firearms, flashing of naughty bits and a feud with French right-wing national Front party leader Marine Le Pen.
There were some newer names on the list as well, including Coldplay at #4 ($171.3 million), Lady Gaga (#5, $161.4 million) and the Cirque du Soleil “Michael Jackson: The Immortal” tour (#6, $140.2 million).
Among the other notable names: Metallica (#8, $86.1 million), Red Hot Chili Peppers (#10, $57.8 million), Jennifer Lopez (#13, $52.6 million), Drake (#19, $43.4 million), Radiohead (#21, $42.5 million), Justin Bieber (#23, $40.2 million) and the Black Keys (#27, $38.1 million).